Toast Ale: Beer brewing against food waste

Victor Lanckriet
3 min readMay 5, 2021

Hi everyone and welcome back to the 21st blog post of a Circular Victory! I have to say, getting to episode 21 feels like a bit of a milestone for me. 21 blog posts and episodes feels like quite a few and I am proud of that achievement! The best part about the blog so far is you, the audience. I love when people reach out to me to give me feedback or share their thoughts on something I have talked about. Throughout these first 20 episodes, I have had some great conversations because of this podcast and I hope this trend will continue in the next 20 episodes too!

On to the blog post for today. Just like last week, we are going to have a short look at a Circular business case that I find really interesting. This week’s case is a company called “Toast Ale”. To find out more about their Circular product, keep on reading!

Toast Ale Logo

More than just beer

Toast ale is a brewery that has an extremely sustainable mission. They are actively fighting against food waste and climate change. They of course do this through the sustainable brewing process that we will look at in a minute, but they also take action in two other ways.

Firstly, they donate all of their profits to charity. By donating all of their profits, Toast Ale hopes to fund a systemic change to fix our current food system. In the current food system, food waste is still a huge problem. Of course, we should all take individual action and responsibility to change that, but systemic change is also needed.

Secondly, by putting sustainability at the forefront of their branding and labelling of beers, they also try to engage people in conversations. Opening up conversations is a really powerful tool to help us improve the world around us. And what better way is there to start a good conversation than over a beer?! By having conversations about sustainability with the people around us we can nudge our society to positive actions for the planet!

So these are the more systemic approaches that Toast Ale is taking towards making a change. Toast Ale has also taken a very interesting stance against food waste in their brewing process.

Brewing process

The interesting part about Toast Ale’s using process is their use of bread! Regular beer brewing will usually use the following ingredients: water, malt, yeast and hops. When Toast Ale realised that there was a lot of surplus bread on the market, they came to the idea to replace a large part of their malted barley with this leftover bread! Now, where does this leftover bread come from? This is another neat idea from the Toast Ale team.

In the UK, it is very common to buy sandwiches in the supermarket for lunch, snacks or any other meal. These sandwiches are mass-produced in factories around the UK. These factories use a whole lot of bread, but there is one part of the bread they always discard: the heel end! No one wants a piece that is 90% crust in their sandwich, so the factories cannot use them. This used to represent a waste cost for these factories as they were responsible for dealing with that waste. That is why they know gladly work together with Toast Ale and deliver these heel ends to them at no cost!

This is another great example of former problems becoming opportunities because of a Circular view of the world. Previously, the bread waste was a problem and cost to be dealt with by the factories. By taking a different perspective, Toast Ale helped to reduce food waste, reduced the cost for the factories and brews delicious beers with a beautiful mission!



Victor Lanckriet

I did my masters thesis on the Circular Economy and am passionate about helping it become the accepted model of consumption in the future!